Well, I went there. Yes, I did. I'd heard and read all the warnings about the graphic content, and that the sequel novels were more pulp action and probably more to my liking. But, I felt I needed to start at the start. Yes, I read Philip Jose Farmer's A Feast Unknown.
Lord Grandrith (Farmer's Tarzan pastiche with extra bits added) faces off against Doc Caliban (Farmer's Doc Savage pastiche with extra bits added) as they battle across Africa. It turns out these men are immortal, servants of "the Nine" - a world-ruling cabal. Eventually the two men learn the Nine have been orchestrating most of their lives, including the setup to kill each other.
Admittedly, predictably not my cup of tea. The sexual graphic stuff I was all right with. Other stuff I could do without. Some of it borders on "body horror" when you think about it. I felt the tone shifted from weird to snide to outright farce by the end. Pretty much rated X, for real.
I did feel the action was repetitive, though, in and of itself. It felt like one of those novellas stretched to a short novel. I probably won't give it a re-read. I have too many original ERB Tarzan stories to read, and perhaps even Farmer's authorized pastiches of Tarzan.
|Original ACE Double cover, backed with THE MAD GOBLIN|
The action felt more varied, here, though it also felt a touch repetitive and stretched beyond its natural length.
|Original ACE Double cover|
You could probably read Lord of the Trees & The Mad Goblin without first reading A Feast Unknown. You might be missing the backstory but that wouldn't take away from the adventure.